Consumer Alert: Avoid These Scam Anti-Aging Websites Like the Plague

Last time you strolled through the beauty aisle at your local store, what did you find? Dozens upon dozens of products promising to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, lift your skin, brighten your complexion, reduce age spots, decrease your pore size—in short, to help you look younger.

In today’s digital age though, consumers aren’t walking the aisles of their local pharmacy any longer. Instead, as the marketplace expands, they’re increasingly turning to the internet for their beauty and anti-aging purchases. And while this certainly offers access to thousands of products that aren’t available at brick and mortar retailers, it also means that these purchases are made sight unseen, often from companies without strong customer reputations. Many are even outright scams.

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Here at HighYa, we’ve reviewed hundreds of these online anti-aging products, so we have a “bird’s eye view” perspective when it comes to the tactics used by unscrupulous companies to separate you from as much of your hard-earned money as possible, which we detailed in our article Exposing the Widespread Scam of Anti-Aging Products & Free Trials. If you’re new to online-only anti-aging products, we’d strongly recommend giving it a read.

In that article, we also talked briefly about how many of these products seem to be made by the same manufacturers; they simply re-market them under different names once the public learns that they’re a scam through experience, or by reading reviews on sites like HighYa, the Better Business Bureau, etc.

In fact, not only are they the same products (generally formulated with cheap ingredients from China), they’re often marketed using the exact same website template, with only the product picture changed. Which this is precisely what we’ll cover today.

Exact same website templateThe exact same website, with only the product name and picture changed. If you land on this website template, run far away.

Here, we’ll discuss some of the key characteristics of this template and give you actionable items to be on the lookout for next time you’re searching online for an anti-aging product. Spoiler alert: If you land on this template, or anything similar, run away. Quickly.

So, enough with the intro—let’s start learning!

Trick #1: Better Than Botox

You’ve almost certainly heard of Botox before, the injectable botulinum toxin that’s used to decrease the appearance of facial lines and wrinkles. In fact, it’s so popular that you might know someone who’s undergone a treatment or two.

At the top of this popular website template, the company attempts to immediately convince you that their product is “Better Than Botox!” They’ll also lead you to believe that the product is used by celebrities or other Hollywood professionals (more about this shortly), and will generally sprinkle in some statistics to make you think it’s been clinically tested.

Screenshot of Premiera MatrixylIs this product really better than Botox? Almost certainly not. But it got your attention, didn’t it? Image: Screenshot of Premiera Matrixyl’s website.

In any of these instances though, the company provides zero evidence to back up their claims. 

However, they do attempt to give the product credibility by claiming that, “due to extremely high media demand,” only 1,000 trials are given out per day. They’ll also include an image claiming that their product has been featured on popular TV networks and in media outlets.

These mentally prime you to believe that the product works so well that people are falling over themselves to get their hands on it, and that it’s been recognized by a variety of news organizations. Both of these are examples of ethos (an appeal to credibility), which is something we discussed in-depth in this article.

Now, let’s keep scrolling down to see what other goodies the manufacturer has in store.

Trick #2: Look Up to 10 Years Younger

After getting you all hyped up about the power of their product, if you only read the headlines, you might believe this next section will provide all the hard evidence you need. 

However, once you read through all the text, you’ll find that it mostly consists of more marketing hype and scientific-sounding words, with little-to-no usable information.

Screenshot of Celloplex's website​You’ll see a lot of words here, but will find very little usable information about how the anti-aging product works, the ingredients it contains, or anything else of importance. Image: Screenshot of Celloplex’s website.

Sure, you’ll read that the serum contains Biosphere, Biofil spheres, QuSome delivery, and other “intelligent ingredients,” but the reality is that only QuSome is an actual product. In other words, the only time Biosphere or Biofil spheres are referenced elsewhere online is on website using this exact same template. They’re wholly made up.

Here, you’ll encounter another copy of the statistics from the top of the page, although there’s still no evidence provided to back them up. You’ll also find instructions about how to apply the cream, although these directions are always very generic, and could be used by any serum or lotion sold by the manufacturer of your choice.

Want to find out what else this fabulous anti-aging template has in store? Keep reading.

Trick #3: Rejuvenate Your Skin—Without Expensive Surgery

How cool would it be to get all the benefits of an in-office anti-aging treatment in the comfort of your home, without the pain and hassle, and without spending so much money?

Pretty cool for sure, but that’s definitely not what these products will provide, although they’ll try to make you think differently here.

Screenshot of Wrinkle Rewind’s websiteWill this anti-aging product provide any of these benefits? Almost certainly not, although the manufacturer lays it on thick. Image: Screenshot of Wrinkle Rewind’s website.

However, when you step back and look at the bigger picture, you’ll (once again) find that the manufacturer uses a whole lot of words but provides very little information you can use to make a better purchasing decision. And in reality, that’s precisely what the manufacturer wants; you to think you’re being informed, when it’s nothing more than marketing hype.

Speaking of hype, let’s continue to the next section, shall we?

Trick #4: Hollywood’s Best Kept Secret

When you think of flawless, youthful beauty, some of the best examples that likely come to mind are Hollywood stars. These manufacturers know this, so they’ll use it to their advantage by claiming that their product is a “celebrity secret,” or that it’s widely used within Hollywood to help stars maintain their on-screen look.

However, just like every other claim made on these sites, zero evidence is provided to back them up. And if you attempt to look elsewhere online for validation, you’ll come up with zilch.

A screenshot of La Lumieres’ websiteIn our experience, there’s no evidence that anyone in Hollywood uses—or has even heard of—these products. Image: Screenshot of La Lumieres’ website.

You’ll also encounter more claims about being clinically proven, but once again, despite all the wordiness, nothing is provided in the way of evidence.

However, depending on your definition of evidence, the final section of these sites might appear to provide what you’re looking for; real people who have used the product and experienced incredible results. But can you trust your eyes? Let’s see.

Trick #5: Real People, Real Results

At long last, after reading through this site template, you’ll come to a section that features fairly incredible—if we may say so ourselves—evidence of what you can expect is you use these products. But all is not what it seems, and if you take a closer look, you might notice that these images are not created equal. In fact, all of these products tend to reuse the same images, so if you see any of the images below, run fast.

This is because the before images are often taken without the models wearing makeup, while the after photos feature plenty of it—likely professionally done. In some instances (as you can see from the third example below), both images are actually the same, with the after photo digitally enhanced to give the appearance of an anti-aging effect.

Screenshots of various before and after images​When it comes to before and after pictures, these manufacturer use a lot of smoke and mirrors to convince you that their products actually work. They don’t, so stay alert.

In either instance, the manufacturer is attempting to pull the wool over your eyes in order to make you think their products work much better than they really do. Despite its widespread use, this tactic appears to have originally emerged within the weight loss industry, and spread like wildfire from there.

With all of this in mind, let’s wrap things up.

If You Land on These Bogus Anti-Aging Websites, What Should You Do?

Click off the page. Plain and simple. 

Anti-aging products that use this template are basically worthless (although the manufacturers will charge you a pretty penny), and you’ll almost certainly encounter poor customer service when trying to cancel your trial or autoship enrollment. Based on the thousands of HighYa reader reviews, many customers find this impossible, and are forced to get their bank involved to stop the recurring charges.

This website template is used to sell many online only anti-aging products.One more example of a website template that is commonly used to sell anti-aging products.

Pro tip: Keep in mind that, although many sites will use the exact same template discussed here, many others will use slight variations with different organization, colors, and even images. Ultimately though, much of the actual content is identical, so if you’ve read through everything above, you should be armed with everything you know in order to avoid these junky products and save yourself a ton of cash in the process.

Before you go though, there’s one last thing we need to discuss: you.

The Final Step in Avoiding This Scam Is Building Awareness

Have you encountered any products using this template? Do you use your own techniques to identify scammy anti-aging products? Whatever you have to say, let’s work as a team. Share you experience by leaving a comment below!

Aslo, if you liked this article, please share with your friends and family by clicking the buttons at the top of this page.

See Also: How Psychology Can Help Control Your Emotions & Avoid Scams

  • July 29, 2015

Derek Lakin

Senior Editor at HighYa. With more than a decade of experience as a copywriter, Derek takes a detail-oriented, step-by-step approach to helping you shop smarter. Whether it’s nutritional supplements or new scams, he believes an informed consumer is a happy customer. Connect with him on Twitter: @DALwrites


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